The more serious cause of poverty is hidden behind the very real problem of racial and ethnic discrimination.
Throughout history the condition of poverty was the condition of landlessness.
And, landlessness for the majority of people in a society or even a significant minority of the people is caused by the systems of property law and taxation that secure and protect entrenched landed privilege.
In almost every country, including the United States, fewer than 5% of the population controls upwards of 90-95% of the total land value.
The landed are thereby able to claim a very high portion of what the remainder of the population produces.
What they claim is referred to in works of political economists as the “rent” of land, a value that is societally-produced but under current laws is individually-appropriated.